High winds and continued heavy rains are causing power outages for many Puget Sound Energy customers in Washington. The downpours that have caused flooding, landslides and evacuations in the state this week are getting to be too much even for the Pacific Northwest. According to the National Weather Service, about 10 locations in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon have reported a foot or more of total rainfall in the three days ending 5 a.m. PST Wednesday.
As of 7:30 a.m., approximately 71,000 PSE customers were without power. Outages are spread across King, Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap Counties.
Strong winds and heavy rain will slow early restoration efforts. Flooding and downed trees may limit access by PSE crews and emergency responders, impacting response time. The utility needs to make sure crews are working in safe conditions in the field.
Crews are deploying as conditions allow. PSE's first step is to determine the level of damage and the extent of repairs needed. In a storm, that process can take 24 hours or longer, especially if weather remains an issue. Additional crews from outside the service territory will be arriving throughout the morning to assist with the restoration effort.